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Why buying a home in a festival hot spot could be a great investment

PUBLISHED: 15:36 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:36 13 August 2018

Archant

If you’re heading to one of the UK’s many festivals this summer, the chances are you’ll be having a sneaky peak in local estate agents’ windows to see how much it would cost to live there all year round.

If you’re heading to one of the UK’s many festivals this summer, the chances are you’ll be having a sneaky peak in local estate agents’ windows to see how much it would cost to live there all year round. And it seems buying a home in a festival town like Ascot is a good investment. According to research from Rightmove and estate agent Jackson-Stops, house prices in these crowd-pulling locations have shown positive price growth over the last seven years.

Ascot in Berkshire is one of the most expensive towns in the country, forever associated with Royal Ascot, the main event in the horse-racing calendar. With average house prices at well over £1m it’s still seen a 17% growth over the last seven years. Not only is the town popular with commuters to London, keeping prices high, it also attracts many international buyers due to its proximity to Heathrow Airport. Top ranking schools are also a huge pull. Philip Harvey of the buying agency Property Vision comments: “The kudos from the festival brings international money. People flock to the events not only to spend money in the circuit, but also in the town with many property deals done during the season.”

Henley is a haven for river pursuits commencing with its Royal Regatta and continuing throughout the year including a five-day festival for art, music and literature, attracting a 30,000 strong audience. Properties cost on average £749,972, a whopping 43% increase over the past seven years. Nestled between the River Thames and the Chiltern Hills, Henley’s riverside homes are the most sought after, if your budget stretches that far, but there’s a good range of period and contemporary homes in and around the town priced between £500,000 and £2m.

Faversham is famous for its September Hop Festival when 40,000 people descend on this quaint Kentish town. Zoopla says it started the year as one of the top 10 British towns for price growth and attracts London escapees who can still take a fast train back to the capital in 67 minutes. Large Victorian townhouses are priced around £600,000, although average prices hover around £330,000.

Nick Leeming, Chairman at Jackson-Stops, says residents can also benefit. “Many homeowners use festivals as a way of drawing in extra income through holiday letting. Short term rental accommodation can attract a significant premium over festival weekends by either letting out spare rooms or decamping and offering the entire home to families,” he adds.

Lewes in East Sussex thrives on the coat tails of nearby Glyndebourne, the internationally renowned opera house and venue of the 80-year-old summer-long festival held in its extensive grounds. Many visitors turn the occasion into a longer trip staying at nearby hotels and eating at local restaurants. Average property prices in the area have risen by 30% since 2011 and are now around £470,000.

“Glyndebourne’s popularity encourages visitors to view homes in Lewes and the immediate surrounding hamlets and villages during the event and some end up buying here and staying on. Some savvy homeowners take advantage of the tourism here by letting a room through Airbnb,” comments Charlie Rosling, Head of Strutt & Parker in Lewes.

The four-day Port Eliot Festival in St German’s, Cornwall, is a music and arts festival growing in reputation and very much a family affair. It’s not hard for visitors to fall in love with the area and weigh up the benefits of living there all the year round. Average prices are around £298,000 and Plymouth is just 15 minutes away for trains to London and further West. 


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